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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

It's a Win-Win!

Photo Credit:  pippalou from
Many of you have probably heard this quote before, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”  Well, I’ve fallen in love with this quote because I whole-heartedly believe it to be true.

At a time when I was feeling eager to conquer some of my fears, a book just so happened to come my way with the title, “Feel the Fear…and Do It Anyway” by Susan Jeffers, PhD.  (By chance?  I think not.)  The title itself has become a mantra for me by providing strength, hope, and courage.  Fear will always be a part of our lives in one form or another, but Jeffers suggests that the fears we have don’t have to hold us back.  We can push through them with a sense of power, excitement, joy, and love.

Tucked inside the two-hundred pages of this encouraging gem of a book are words of inspiration and tools to help us turn our fears and indecision into power…power to create satisfaction in our lives.  The author shares an interesting truth about fear.  She says that the only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to just go out and do it.  Jeffers shares that “pushing through the fear is less frightening than living with the underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness.”

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but an incredibly crucial piece of advice that Jeffers shares is about our self-talk.  She encourages us to change our vocabulary within from negative to positive.  Soooo, that means…

I can’t becomes I won’t (because I can’t registers as weak in our subconscious)                
I should becomes I could (because I should brings guilt and upset and drains emotions)
It’s not my fault becomes I’m totally responsible (because It’s not my fault makes us think like a victim)
It’s a problem becomes It’s an opportunity (because It’s a problem is heavy and negative)
I hope becomes I know (because I hope sets us up for worry and sleepless nights while I know has a peace and calm about it)
It’s terrible becomes It’s a learning experience (because It’s terrible registers as disaster while the other statement allows us room for growth)

Throughout the book, Jeffers encourages us to take risks outside of our normal comfort zone.  Each time we move out of what feels comfortable, we become more powerful.  As our power builds, so does our confidence.  Our original comfort zone can expand with each and every step we take outside of the boundaries we’ve set for ourselves.  As John Shedd says, “Ships in harbor are safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.” (LOVE that!)

One of the main things that I took away from the book is the “No-Win” Model vs. the “No-Lose” Model.  One of the biggest fears that keeps some of us from moving forward is our indecision.  We may have been taught to, “Be careful!  You might make a wrong decision!”  Many of us are deathly afraid of making a wrong decision.  We panic over the idea of making a mistake.  We want to control the outcome of everything in our life, so that keeps us petrified when we think about making a change or attempting a new challenge.

Jeffers says that the “No-Win” model keeps us standing at a threshold of a decision, lamenting and obsessing – “Should I do this or should I do that?  What if I go this way and that happens?  What if it doesn’t work out the way I plan?  What if…”  The crazy thing about the “No-Win” model is that even after a decision is made, we constantly reassess the situation, hoping we didn’t make a mistake.  Ugh!  We just can't win.  What a vicious cycle…

Jeffers’ “No-Lose” method, on the other hand, is about two paths, A and B – both of which are right!  Path A and Path B both “offer opportunities to experience life in a new way, to learn and grow, to find out who you are and who you would really like to be and what you would like to do with this life.  Each path is strewn with opportunities, despite the outcome.”  Honestly, just thinking in those terms breathes new life within me.  It feels much more peaceful to think in this manner, doesn’t it?

Jeffers even admits that her students often remark that the “No-Lose” model seems a bit unrealistic.  Many people equate negative with “realistic” and positive with “unrealistic.”  Why?  Why would we want to continue resisting a “No-Lose” way of thinking?  Jeffers says that a critical factor in accepting the “No-Lose” model is our mind-set and how we think about outcomes and opportunities.  Once again…it’s up to us.  We choose.

To wrap-up, I thought this was a cute story from Mikey about retirement and growing older.  The author of this thought-provoking funny just might have a point…it’s all about our mind-set!

Now that I am getting older, I have done my research on retirement. I have found that the average cost for a nursing home is $300.00 per day. I decided that there must be a better way to deal with getting old and feeble, yet having my needs met. This is my recommendation:

I have found that I can get a nice room at the local Holiday Inn for $99.00 per day. That leaves $201.00 a day for food (brought directly to you by room service), laundry, gratuities, and special TV movies. This cost includes use of a swimming pool, a lounge, a washer and dryer, and a business center with computers and a copy machine plus a free continental breakfast. They provide free shampoo and soap along with toothbrushes, toothpaste, and razors as required. I will have daily maid service and a free USA Today Monday through Friday.

When I do decide to eat in the restaurant, I will see different people every day, not the same old folks that I would see in the dining room of a nursing home. If I join their frequent travelers “Priority Club,” I will soon accumulate enough points to get a DVD player or a free trip to Hawaii.

There may be a bit of a wait to get a first floor room, but that’s okay because most of the time it takes months to get into a decent nursing home. The Holiday Inn has a handicapped equipped bus (if you fake a good enough limp), access to a church bus, cabs, and even the regular bus. Occasionally, for a change for lunch or dinner, I can take the airport bus and eat in one of the restaurants there.

Holiday Inn has security at night and if someone sees you fall, they will call an ambulance that should arrive promptly in five to seven minutes.  They have 24/7 visiting hours. As a bonus, they offer senior discounts. What more can you ask for?

My conclusion: When I reach those golden retirement years, please help me keep my grin. Just pack my bags and drop me off at our local Holiday Inn.

After that little giggle, I’d like for you to join me this week in feeling the fear…and doing it anyway.  Let’s go for it, Sunshines!  We can do it!  Choose Path A or choose Path B…either way…it’s up to us on how we’ll view the outcomes and opportunities for growth along the way.  Honestly, it’s a win-win!

Have a wonderful week, Sunshines!

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